Sunday, August 3, 2008

"Congratulations! You Are Reconciled!"

Today, we had baptisms. However, before we proceeded to witness the beautiful and symbolic declarations of faith, Chad continued preaching in the book of Colossians. Today’s scripture was Colossians 1:19-23:

19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;

20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

21And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

23If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Chad did a beautiful job of describing God’s reconciliation; how He restored peace and unity between Himself and His creation through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:19-21 says:

19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

These scriptures describe the character and nature of our awesome God. His goal is to mend and fix what is broken; that fellowship and intimacy between Himself and His children. His intense love provided the way for us to have that restoration of fellowship through Jesus. ALL of us need Jesus in order to have fellowship with God! Jesus’ blood is the only way we can be presented before God holy and blameless.

Does your heart understand how much God loves you? Do you know that there is no limit to God‘s love and that He ALWAYS has an attitude of love towards you? He will go to any length to win the human heart; and the cross proves it!! The sacrifice of His own Son is the ultimate proof of His love and that He holds nothing back.

Chad said in the simplest of terms that “God is for you.” He said if we understand that, we wouldn’t “bargain” with Him and make promises in exchange for whatever goodness, blessing, or grace we hope He’ll show us. He is our loving Father; all good gifts come from Him. He gives and gives to us regardless of any “deals” we make with Him. Chad stated the case and point with his own children. He always has interesting stories to tell about the things his boys do and the small trouble they get into. He was talking about how his boys made a mess, used markers to draw all over the bathroom (in fact, his son John even wrote his name on the toilet seat - “John….how fitting.” LOL) picking on each other, etc. He said each time they got in trouble, they would apologize and make deals and promises and “I’ll be good…….I’ll do this/that….I’ll clean my room…….etc.” Chad said that it was kind of sad, in a way, because if his children really understood the depth of how much he loved them, they would know that no “deal” they could make or anything they could do would ever “earn” his love and forgiveness. Chad, like any parent, loves his children unconditionally; just like God loves His children. Chad told us not to “misunderstand God” and that “our promises don’t affect God’s behavior towards us.” He LOVES you unconditionally and forever. Nothing we do can change that. And, no one else can change God’s mind about us either. Nothing and no one can change God’s opinion of us and how much He loves us because, as Paul describes in Romans 8:38, NOTHING can separate us from the love of God!! We don’t have to “earn” God’s love; it just “is” because God IS love!! We don’t have to make deals and promises. God already made the ultimate deal when He sacrificed His Son on the cross for our sins.

One other point that Chad made was how when one balances a checkbook, you have to reconcile your balance with the bank’s. Often times, he said that his didn’t match the bank’s and there would be a button online that would say “Do you want to reconcile?” And, when you click that button, you hear a little sound and a little window comes up and says “Congratulations! You are reconciled!” Chad said that as simple as it seems to just click that button and be reconciled, we just get stumped by the simplicity; just like we can’t seem to understand that God really reconciles us when we confess our sins (1 John 1:9). Chad said, “Trust that’s it’s done.” Trust that you are “reconciled” and forgiven. He remembers your sins no more.

If you have never been “reconciled” to Christ, I pray that you will consider that “button” in front of you that asks that question: “Do you want to reconcile?” I pray that you choose yes so that when you face God when you die, He will say “Congratulations! You are reconciled!” Otherwise, you will have to pay your negative balance yourself…….and will be paying it for all eternity because a sin debt is more than one can ever pay for (which is why Christ paid it for us all). All we have to do is make that choice to accept that payment towards our sin balance. Will you allow Him to pick up you tab, or will you stubbornly and foolishly choose to pay for it yourself and suffer the consequences? What is your choice?

If you want to “reconcile” but need help taking that step, please don’t hesitate to talk to me!! I am here for you!! I love you; and God loves you even MORE!! Grace and peace to you!!! Have a blessed week!!

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